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Why Bother Reading the Bible?

Grandma and Mom influenced my passion for reading. Neither of them read books, but both of them read the newspaper.

Grandma spread the newspaper pages out on either the dining room or kitchen table. Then, she’d scoot her chair in close, and lean forward. She said that the newspaper kept her informed of the “crooks and criminals” otherwise known as politicians. 

Mom read the newspaper too, as well as free magazine publications from grocery stores. Mostly though, she just read the titles of articles and then cut them out when she thought they would be good for any one of her offspring to read. 

She had a file folder for each of us. Those who had already left home, received a manila envelope full of reading material while those still living at home would find an article on top of their bedroom dresser. 

Dad also had a part in my reading development. He read bedtime stories to us which captivated and sent me into the world of Hansel and Grettal, and Cinderella.

 Living Words!

Then, after Dad ended his life by suicide, I’d spend hours in the quiet aisles of the local library discovering authors and their books. Reading stories transported me away from the discomforting and confusing emotions that accompanied my grief. 

In my early twenties, after a personal spiritual experience, I shopped for my very first Bible. I thought the Bible would give me insights into the life of Jesus and help me to get to know him.

I had no idea there were so many different versions, but I found one that I could easily read, The Living Bible. I bought it and started reading it beginning with the Psalms. 

The Psalms, like poems, expressed the way I felt; downtrodden, abandoned, and pressed down. Then I read Proverbs which gave me clarity for living; “only fools refuse to be taught,” “all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.” 

Since buying my first Bible, I’ve purchased other versions. The King James Version was the easiest one for memorizing verses and to study words from Hebrew and Greek. But, I also like the casual language of the Message and the Amplified. I’ve read the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation a few times. Every time I read a passage from the Bible I know that it is speaking fresh and powerful insights into my life. 

 No matter which version you choose to read, the Bible speaks directly to the matters of the heart, guiding and transforming us. No one is impervious to the truth. 

Why bother reading the Bible? Reading novels, memoirs and nonfiction books is entertaining and enlightening. But reading the Bible shapes our thinking and our lives, forever and ever.

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